Front Porch Blog

Mountaintop Removal Bill Won’t be Considered in KY

Thanks to Vivian at OHVEC for the story, and for the great folks at Kentuckians for the Commonwealth (KFTC) who do such amazing work in the state of Kentucky, the Appalachian Region, and throughout the United States.

Mountaintop removal bill won’t be considered in KY:
(and we’ll make it an issue for the 2008 presidential candidates!) says Vivian.

The Kentucky General Assembly just killed a bill that would have help reduce MTR pollution in the Kentucky River, from which Lexington, Frankfort, Winchestor, and Richmond get their water. The bill would revise existing state law so that refuse, from MTR sites “would have to be returned to its original spot or another previously mined site and could not be dumped into waters, such as streams, tributaries and rivers.”

State Rep. Don Pasley, a “Clark County farm leader,” championed the bill and has taken up this cause up with vigor.

He said that sedimentation — the soil, vegetation, rock and refuse — from mountaintop removal mining is the “No. 1 pollutant in the Kentucky River.” [And that…] the heavy-metal pollutants from mountaintop removal mining include mercury, arsenic and other trace metals that endanger the “health of all of Central Kentucky.”

The other side is running out of ammo against the relentless work of KFTC and Rep. Pasley. Look at the language that Bill Caylor, president of the Kentucky Coal Association is using.

“There are no more heavy metals in mountaintop removal mining than you would find in your backyard,” Caylor said. ”

Industry has always used euphemisms for mountaintop removal mining. To name a few – cross-ridge mining, surface mining, and “mountaintop” mining. But I have never heard a coal president call mountaintop removal by its actual name. That puts us 1-up on the message battle.

More exciting news about the 2007 governors race:

Mountaintop removal might become an issue in the 2007 gubernatorial campaign. That apparently will happen when State Treasurer Jonathan Miller, D-Lexington, one of seven Democrats running for governor, will hold a press conference at 9 a.m. Monday in the Capitol Rotunda. He will discuss how Kentucky can become a leader in energy independence and advanced health care technology, said Carol Andrews, communications director for the Miller campaign. “He will be addressing reform of mountaintop removal mining including the protection of our rivers and streams,” Andrews said.

Caylor and [State Rep Jim] Gooch contend that mountaintop removal mining is not a destructive force.
“It creates very much needed flat land outside the flood plain,” Caylor said. “There is no flat land outside the flood plain in Appalachia unless man has created it.”
Gooch said: “If there were wholesale destruction of the mountains I think there would be more of an outcry. I’ve gotten a few letters from Louisville and Frankfort and Lexington, but not from where mountaintop removal is taking place.”

Hmmm…no letters huh?
Well, Gooch represents Providence, KY.

While I’m 100% sure that people from the mountains have sent him letters, it would make more sense for the people around Gooch in Louisville, Frankfort, and Lexington to write him letters regarding MTR.

And I can’t wait to show Jim Gooch what an outcry hillbillies make when you take away our mountains.





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